Hubbard Life-Changing Teacher Award kicks off its second year
United Way Worldwide CEO joins Indiana Pacers point guard, local philanthropists and United Way of Central Indiana to recognize IPS teachers
If you know an exceptional Indianapolis Public School teacher (IPS) who has turned around the lives of one or more students and demonstrated a record of academic success, you can nominate them for the Hubbard Life-Changing Teacher Award worth $25,000. Nominators can go online at TeacherAward.org to submit a nomination by January 24, 2015.
Now in its second year, the award was created by Indianapolis residents and longtime education champions Al and Kathy Hubbard who committed to invest up to $400,000 to honor exceptional teachers each year for three years. The Hubbards selected United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI) to administer the award.
Four outstanding teachers will be selected to receive $25,000 each, and up to six finalists will be awarded $1,000 each. All full-time IPS teachers, as well as teachers at Arlington High School, Manual High School, Emma Donnan Middle School and TC Howe High School, are eligible to be nominated.
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Indiana Pacers point guard and IPS alumnus George Hill continues as spokesperson for the Life-Changing Teacher Award and will serve on the winner-selection committee. Hill, an outspoken advocate for the teachers and coaches who changed his life, helped launch the program a year ago after an emotional reunion with his Broad Ripple High School English teacher, Susan Avery, who helped him make his education a priority.
UWCI focuses on education’s critical role in determining long-term self-sufficiency, a key goal. United Way Worldwide President and CEO Brian Gallagher joined Hill, UWCI President and CEO Ann D. Murtlow, the Hubbards, IPS Superintendent Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee and others today to kick off the second year of the award. Gallagher described the award as “indicative of United Way’s global initiative to achieve community impact” in education in a way that “leverages one of our most valuable assets, the individual leadership of great teachers.”
The Hubbards have been involved in school reform for more than 20 years, supporting school choice, charter schools, and special programs in IPS. They were inspired to create the prize after reading the story of a John Marshall Community High School student whose life was turned around by the caring influence of his reading teacher. Today, that student is in college.
“Kathy and I created this award to recognize heroes in the classroom that go beyond the call of duty to turn around the lives of students, giving them every opportunity to achieve academic excellence,” said Al Hubbard, who serves as Chairman of E & A Companies, an Indianapolis-based business, and was Director of the National Economic Council under President George W. Bush. Hubbard said the first year nominations “exceeded our expectations, and we are eager to learn about others who deserve our gratitude and recognition for shaping young lives.”
“Using their dedication, sharing their excitement for learning, and focusing on the unique needs of their students, teachers unlock the potential of their students in ways that too often go unnoticed and unappreciated,” said Murtlow. “This award allows us to lift up the best of the best, and in doing so, the profession as a whole.”
Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee, IPS superintendent, added: “We are very fortunate to have the support of the Hubbard Family, United Way and George Hill. George Hill is a shining example of an IPS student whose life was changed by an incredible teacher in our schools.”
UWCI will select semi-finalists from among the nominees, and a selection committee appointed by UWCI will choose winners to be announced May 27.
In the first year, the Hubbard Award presented $25,000 each to: Tina Ahlgren, a math teacher at Shortridge Magnet High School for Law and Public Policy; Cynthia Hartshorn, a choir and drama director at Arsenal Technical High School; Rhonda Pierre, a math teacher at Harshman Magnet Middle School; and, Deb Wolinsky, a math and resource teacher at Broad Ripple Magnet High School.
Last year’s winners were selected from 561 nominations from 65 schools or programs.